by Tony Vidler
A quick Google search on Time Management books threw up 714,000,000 results…so there is no shortage of information out there for busy professionals looking to organise their work, and themselves, better.
No matter how many books you read or conference presenters you listen to, the struggle remains the same….too much to do and not enough time to do it all in.
It is all about priorities though isn’t it? It is not really about time….nobody manages time….it just tick-tocks on relentlessly regardless of what we decide to do.
During a recent roadshow series on building marketing systems I was asked the same question by somebody at each venue: How do you manage to fit everything in?
The answer is “you don’t”
If you accept that is highly unlikely that you will find the magic answer for how to bend “time” to your will, or to be able to fit in everything you ever want to do in your life, then it becomes clear that you must allocate the limited resource of time to the most important things first. You simply cannot fit everything that you could possibly do into neat blocks of minutes or hours.
That naturally led to the follow up question: What is the most important thing?
Everyone was expecting something along the lines of “the website is number 1….” or “talking to clients is what matters most….” apparently. I was surprised that the audiences were surprised when I simply replied “taking time off is the most important thing“.
All the business activity…all the marketing…all the results that we seek….they are all just a means to an end surely? They are about creating the business we want because it gives us the life we want.
So begin by allocating the time firstly to the things that are most important: time off…enjoying life. Plan the downtime, the holidays, the kids sports, the wine time….whatever it is that is really the most important.
Then prioritise the things that must happen in business to produce the results that pay for the time off.
You will definitely find a long list of things that it would be ideal to do, but which you simply do not have sufficient time for…..but then, they really cannot be that important in the great scheme of things, can they?